Monday, 25 June 2007

MCCAIN-FEINGOLD: THE BEGINNING OF THE END

Ken Berwitz

It was lousy legislation right from the git-go.

McCain-Feingold's idea, at least in theory, was to even the playing field by limiting what big guys could spend on elections, so that the little guy would get a better shake.  Sounds nice.

But, as anyone with a sense of realism should have known, that would never happen and didn't.  All McCain-Feingold accomplished was to cause those same big guys to shrug and create end-arounds (like, for example the 527(e) organizations that can spend all they want).  And, of course, it did nothing to stop rich dilletantes like Jon Corzine from being able to buy elections because their personal wealth enabled them to blow away less fortunate candidates who had to rely on the now-limited contributions.

You can read all about 527(e)'s at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopici89.pdf  if you care to, and I'm sure it will be faster and cheaper than ambien for you.  But the bottom line is that, amid all the polysyllabic crapola, it says "here's how you can get your political message across without technically really doing it, so you can be just as political as before even though senator McCain and senator Feingold like to play lets-pretend with each other and fantasize this isn't happening".

Now, with a current supreme court that cares more than the last one about actual law rather than what they'd have passed if they were legislators, we see the first significant cutting away of this ludicrous legislation.  In reading the following AP dispatch, please take special note of the next to last paragraph, which I've put in bold print:.

Court allows issue ads near elections

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 6 minutes ago

The Supreme Court loosened restrictions Monday on corporate- and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, weakening a key provision of a landmark campaign finance law.

The court, split 5-4, upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months before the 2004 elections. The law unreasonably limits speech and violates the group's First Amendment rights, the court said.

The decision could lead to a bigger role for corporations, unions and other interest groups in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections.

The case involved advertisements that Wisconsin Right to Life was prevented from broadcasting. The ads asked voters to contact the state's two senators, Democrats Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, and urge them not to filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees.

Feingold, a co-author of the campaign finance law, was up for re-election in 2004.

The provision in question was aimed at preventing the airing of issue ads that cast candidates in positive or negative lights while stopping short of explicitly calling for their election or defeat. Sponsors of such ads have contended they are exempt from certain limits on contributions in federal elections.

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by his conservative allies, wrote a majority opinion upholding the appeals court ruling.

The majority itself was divided in how far justices were willing to go in allowing issue ads.

Three justices, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, would have overruled the court's 2003 decision upholding the constitutionality of the provision.

Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito said only that the Wisconsin group's ads are not the equivalent of explicit campaign ads and are not covered by the court's 2003 decision.

That court, differently composed, upheld large portions of the law in its 2003 decision, including the provision in question in the current case.

On Monday, Justice David Souter, joined by his three liberal colleagues, said in his dissent that the court "effectively and, unjustifiably, overruled" the earlier decision.

The ads could have been run, Souter pointed out, had they been paid for out of the group's political action committee, which is subject to federal campaign finance limits. Or Feingold's name could have been omitted, he said.

"Thus, what is called a 'ban' on speech is a limit on the financing of electioneering broadcasts by entities...that insist on acting as conduits from the campaign war chests of business corporations," Souter said.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens joined Souter's dissent.

The Bush administration urged the court to ban the ads, arguing that they were meant to influence the elections, not lobby the senators.

But Roberts said, "Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues also may be pertinent in an election. Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor."

An array of interest groups across the political spectrum sought the outcome the court reached Monday. They include: the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Rifle Association, labor unions and business groups.

The consolidated case is Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 06-969, and McCain v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 06-970..

The ACLU and NRA are in AGREEMENT on this?  Shoot, who'd have thought that could happen? (sorry, couldn't resist a bad pun).

Anything that could bring these two together must have a pretty powerful logic to it.  And this surely is a case in point.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a realist from the word go, has had it right all along.  His concept is no restrictions on who contributes (thus no orwellian subterfuge to get the same result anyway), but 100% disclosure, so that people have full knowledge of who they are in bed with when they vote for the candidate.

Now that makes sense.  And McCain-Feingold doesn't, even the 527th time you say it.


FATAH, HAMAS AND PEACE PROSPECTS

Ken Berwitz

While we're on the subject of thoughtful analyses, here is another one, this time on the prospect (or lack thereof) for Israel to create some kind of actual peace deal with palestinian Arabs. 

I can't be less than honest;  I don't think peace between Israel and palestinian Arabs is possible right now.  I have zero belief that fatah is interested in anything but removing Israel from existence and killing its Jewish population. 

For this reason, I am extremely skeptical, extremely cynical, regarding President Bush's public statement of support to this sorry, corrupt, lying, violent, hate-filled entity.

On the other hand, one slim thread of hope lies in the fact that hamas, which just overthrew the fatah government in Gaza, is even worse.  Because of this, fatah might have to make an accommodation with Israel just to survive and regain some of its elected authority. There's an old saying "any port in a storm", which could apply here. 

Another reason for hope, however minimal, is that it has happened before.  Let's remember that both Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin fought with "terrorist groups" before making the peace between Egypt and Israel that, however tenuously, has lasted for a quarter century so far. 

Still, I would be amazed if things worked out here.  Thrilled, but amazed. 

Anyway, here is the analysis I promised.  It is written for today's Wall Street Journal by Michael Oren who I think you'll find to be a very smart, very insightful man.  Even if you don't agree with him, his opinions are so well founded in  facts and history that it seems to me you have to respect and pay attention to them

Oren's idea is to essentially shut out both hamas AND fatah.  He would create pockets of autonomy that would be overseen by Israel and Jordan (which, not incidentally, would also forge an even stronger alliance between the two countries than currently exists;  a nice side benefit). 

On paper is looks lovely.  Reality, I suspect, is a very different story.  But you decide for yourself.   Here it is.

Sunday, June 24, 2007
MICHAEL OREN: Fatah Isn't the Answer - regional autonomy is
Fatah Isn't the Answer
By MICHAEL OREN
The Wall Street Journal June 20, 2007; Page A17
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118230210250741414.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

America and its Middle Eastern allies have every reason to panic. The green flags of Hamas are furling over Gaza and the al-Fatah forces trained and financed by the United States have ignominiously fled. Fears are rife that Iranian-backed and Syrian-hosted terror will next achieve dominance over the West Bank and proceed to undermine the pro-Western governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf.

To avert this catastrophe, the U.S. has joined with the Israelis and the Europeans in resuming the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid to the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of its Fatah president, Mahmoud Abbas, and accelerating talks for the establishment of a West Bank Palestinian state. The goal is to provide Palestinians with an affluent, secular and peaceful alternative to Hamas, and persuade Gazans to return to the Fatah fold. But the policy ignores every lesson of the abortive peace process to date as well as Fatah's monumental corruption, jihadism and militancy. Indeed, any sovereign edifice built on the rotten foundations of the Palestinian Authority is doomed to implode, enhancing,
rather than diminishing, Hamas's influence.

Gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Is funding them the path to peace?

Since its creation by the so-called Oslo Accords of 1993, the PA has garnered more international aid than any entity in modern history -- more, per capita, than the European states under the Marshall Plan. The lion's share of this fortune has been siphoned into the private accounts of Fatah leaders or used to pay off the commanders of some 16 semi-autonomous militias. The PA also maintains an estimated 60,000 uniformed gunmen on its payroll, giving the West Bank the world's highest percentage of
policemen-to-population.

The Palestinian people, meanwhile, languish in ever-deepening poverty and unemployment, while lawlessness plagues Palestinian streets. The unbridled corruption of the PA and its Fatah headmen served as a principal cause of Hamas's electoral victory in 2006, as well its takeover of Gaza. Viewers of Hamas television have recently been treated to tours of the lavish villas maintained by Fatah officials in the Strip, and video clips showing PA policemen, more abundantly armed and more numerous than Hamas's troops, fleeing at the first sign of battle.

Though Fatah originally aspired to replace Israel with a secular, democratic state in Palestine, the organization refashioned itself in 1990s as an Islamic movement, embracing the lexicon of jihad. Hundreds of mosques were built with public funds, and imams were hired to spread the message of martyrdom and the hatred of Christians and Jews. These themes became thestaple of the official PA media, inciting the suicide bombings that began in 2000 and poisoning an entire generation of Palestinian youth. Ironically,
the Islamization of Fatah legitimized Hamas and contributed to the cadres of religious extremists who are now defying its authority.

In addition to its fiscal malfeasance and Islamic radicalism, Fatah has never fulfilled its pledges to crack down on terror. Though Mahmoud Abbas routinely criticizes Palestinian terrorist attacks as "contrary to the Palestinian national interest" -- not an affront to morality and international law -- he has never disavowed the al-Aqsa Brigades, a Fatah affiliate responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks against Israeli civilians.

In the past, such assaults have served as a means of maintaining Fatah's legitimacy as a resistance movement and countering charges that the organization sold out to America and Israel. In fact, a distinct correlation exists between the amount of support that Fatah receives from the West and its need to prove its "Palestinianess" through terror.

In view of its performance over the past 14 years, the Palestinian Authority under Fatah can be counted on to squander most or all of the vast sums now being given to it by the U.S. and the international community. More gunmen will be hired and better weapons procured, but in the absence of a unified command and a leadership worth fighting for, PA soldiers will perform no more credibly than they did in Gaza. Mr. Abbas will continue to denounce terror while ignoring the terrorist units within his own organization, while
PA imams will persist in preaching their jihadist sermons.

In response, Israel will be precluded from lifting the checkpoints that not only block suicide bombers but hinder communication between Palestinian cities. Impeded by Palestinian attacks and Israeli countermeasures, the peace talks will inexorably grind to a halt. In the end, the Palestinian people will remain impoverished, divided and stateless, and more than ever amenable to the purist polity of Hamas.

If funding and empowering Fatah is not a viable option for the U.S., what other courses might the administration take? Clearly no progress toward Palestinian statehood can be made before Fatah has reformed itself financially, ideologically and structurally. Even under the most propitious circumstances this process is certain to take many years -- longer if economic aid and political support are provided to the PA unconditionally. Similarly, proposals for containing Hamas's influence by stationing an international force along the Gaza border are unlikely to succeed if for no other reason than Hamas's avowed determination to resist such a deployment. Yet the need to combat Hamas and provide Palestinians with an attractive diplomatic horizon remains acute.


There is, fortunately, an interim answer.

The U.S., together with its Quartet partners, can work to establish areas of extensive Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank. Within these districts, local Palestinian leaders will be fully empowered to manage all aspects of daily life including health, education and resource management. A national assembly, comprised of representatives from each district, will meet regularly to deliberate issues of West Bank-wide concern. Security, however, will be jointly administered by Israel and Jordan. The Jordanian involvement is crucial to convincing Palestinians that the status quo of occupation has ended and they may in the future assume full responsibility for their internal defense. Such an arrangement will benefit Jordan as well, by facilitating its efforts to fight radicalism and stem the flight of Palestinians over its borders.

Visiting Washington this week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the Hamas conquest of Gaza as an opportunity for the Palestinians. This indeed may be the case, but not by resurrecting long-failed policies and imposing a state structure on a corrupt and incompetent Fatah. Doing so is tantamount to investing in the Titanic. Significant opportunities do, however, exist for policy makers -- American, Israeli, and Palestinian -- who are willing to consider new paradigms and incremental steps toward the realization of a durable peace.

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CHARLES LINDBERG: R.I.P.

Ken Berwitz

Yes I spelled the name right.  No he is not the guy who flew from NY to Paris and whose son was kidnapped.  This is a different man.  You may not know of him (at least until now), but you definitely know the event he was a part of.

Charles Lindberg was the last surviving soldier who first raised the American Flag at Iwo Jima.  Here are the particulars from the Associated Press, whose great photographer, Abe Rosenthal, immortalized a flag raising shortly thereafter, that has inspired generations of Americans to this day:

Lindberg spent decades explaining that it was his patrol, not the one captured in the famous photograph by Abe Rosenthal of The Associated Press, that raised the first flag over the island.

In the late morning of February 23rd, 1945, Lindberg fired his flame-thrower into enemy pillboxes at the base of Mount Suribachi and then joined five other Marines fighting their way to the top.

He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery.
.

A great many soldiers acted heroically during World War II.  With over 400,000 combat deaths during that awful time, many did not live to tell about it.  But others did and, happily, Charles Lindberg was one of them.

Rest in peace, sir.  And thank you.


ALAN JOHNSTON UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Several weeks ago (June 2, to be exact) I blogged about Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist who was kidnapped on March 12 by muslim terrorists in Gaza.  I pointed out that he had been trotted out by his abductors twice, to make obviously scripted comments that supported their positions, and that this was REAL terrorism and prisoner abuse, not like the frat-boy hazing stuff at Guantanamo.

Well, they've done it a third time.  This time there is a video of Alan Johnston wearing a suicide belt and warning that he would be blown up if anyone tried to rescue him.  Here's the excerpted story, courtesy of CNN.  I commend CNN for reporting it, because I doubt you've seen it anywhere else (more on that later):.

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Clad in what appeared to be an explosive vest, kidnapped BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston warned in a new video that his captors would turn their hideout into a "death zone" if any rescue attempt is made.

Although it was unclear when the clip -- posted on a Web site Sunday -- was made, Johnston appeared to refer to developments earlier this month in Gaza, where Palestinian Islamic group Hamas wrested control from its Fatah rivals and then pledged to secure the reporter's release.

"I do appeal to the Hamas movement and the British government not -- not -- to resort to the tactics of force in an effort to end this," Johnston said.

"My captors tell me that very promising negotiations were ruined when the Hamas movement and the British government decided to press for a military solution to this kidnapping, and the situation is now very serious," he said.

Johnston, was kidnapped March 12 by a group calling itself the Army of Islam, just weeks before he was due to end his three-year posting in the territory.

Sunday's video showed the journalist standing before a black background, wearing a long-sleeved red shirt beneath what appeared to be an explosive vest.

"The situation now is very serious. As you can see I have been dressed in what is an explosive belt, which the kidnappers say will be detonated if there was any attempt to storm this area," he said.

Johnston urged British and Palestinian officials to resume negotiations, adding, "They're willing to turn the hideout into what they described as a 'death zone' if there's an attempt to free me by force."

There was no immediate reaction to the scene from Hamas but the British Foreign Office and the BBC criticized the video.

"It is very distressing for Alan's family and colleagues to see him being threatened in this way," the network said in a statement issued early Monday, echoing comments by the Foreign Office.

"We ask those holding Alan to avoid him being harmed by releasing him immediately. We are keeping his family fully informed and offering them our continued support."

.

So tell me;  does this qualify as prisoner abuse?  How does it stack up to having a dog collar put on you or women's panties on your head?  Can you see any difference in degree?

And how despicable is it that the same USA media which had no problem assuring us in lead stories, daily, for months and years that we are subhuman ogres for the fraternity-prank "abuse" at Guantanamo are barely even reporting there IS such a person as Alan Johnston?  How despicable is it that they keep you from knowing what his muslim terrorist captors are doing to him, making him wear, making him say, etc?

This is flat-out manipulation of the news to make people who don't know better think we are doing terrible things to poor victimized prisoners......after all, who is doing anything worse?  Other than this CNN report, when have you seen anything at all?

It's called an agenda, folks.  An agenda that condemns us and protects them.  That's what they pursue when they manipulate your news in this manner, whether they own up to it or not.

 


IRAQIALITY CHECK

Ken Berwitz

I just read a very thoughtful analysis of our situation in Iraq written by Peter Hegseth, which I think is very important to pass on to you. 

It is not angry or explosive.  It is not sensational.  It is, however, an intelligent, persuasive argument from someone who, through training and on-site experience, has the knowledge to provide it.

See what you think:.

Reality Check for the Antiwar Crowd
By Pete Hegseth
Monday, June 25, 2007; A19

As an Iraq war veteran who participated in combat operations and political reconciliation efforts, I take issue with some of the arguments repeatedly being made on Capitol Hill. Most recently I was bothered by statements from Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who cited three common antiwar arguments in his June 21 op-ed, " Lincoln's Example for Iraq," all of which run counter to realities on the ground in Iraq.

A deadline for withdrawal is an incentive for Iraqi political compromise. Levin thinks we ought to pressure Iraq's government with a warning tantamount to saying: "You better fix the situation before we leave and your country descends into chaos." He should consider the more likely result: an American exit date crushing any incentive for Iraqi leaders to cooperate and instead prompting rival factions to position themselves to capitalize on the looming power void.

My experience in Iraq bore this out. Only after my unit established a meaningful relationship with the president of the Samarra city council -- built on tangible security improvements and a commitment to cooperation -- did political progress occur. Our relationship fostered unforeseen political opportunities and encouraged leaders, even ones from rival tribes, to side with American and Iraqi forces against local insurgents and foreign fighters.

We can bring the war to a "responsible end" but still conduct counterterrorism operations. The problem with this argument is what a "responsible end" would mean. What is "responsible" about the large-scale bloodshed that would surely occur if we left the Iraqis behind with insufficient security forces? What is "responsible" about proving al-Qaeda's thesis that America can be defeated anywhere with enough suicide bombings?

The senator also seems to believe that America will have success fighting terrorists in Iraq with a minimal troop presence, despite the fact that 150,000 troops have their hands full right now doing precisely that.

We are "supporting the troops" by demanding an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Levin says that "our troops should hear an unequivocal message from Congress that we support them." He explains his vote to fund and "support" the troops while simultaneously trying to legislate the war's end. But what kind of "support" and "unequivocal message" do the troops hear from leaders in Congress who call their commanders "incompetent" or declare the war "lost"?

Such statements provide nearly instant enemy propaganda to every mud hut with a satellite dish in Iraq and throughout the Arab world. These messages do not spell support, no matter how you spin them. And they could inspire insurgents, making the situation more dangerous for our soldiers and Marines.

Veterans know firsthand that numerous mistakes have been made in the war. But that does not change the unfortunate reality: Iraq today is the front line of a global jihad being waged against America and its allies. Both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have said so.

We face an important choice in the coming months: provide Gen. David Petraeus the time and troops he needs to execute his counterinsurgency campaign, or declare defeat and withdraw from Iraq. It seems that Democrats in Congress have already made their decision.

In his op-ed, Sen. Levin invoked the example of Abraham Lincoln, who endured years of challenges before finding the right generals and strategy to win the Civil War. After four years of uncertainty in Iraq, America finally has both the general and the strategy to turn the tide. The question is whether 2007 will unfold like 1865 or 1969.

President Lincoln chose to fight a bloody and unpopular war because he believed the enemy had to be defeated. He was right. And to me, that sounds more than a bit like the situation our country faces today. What path will we choose?

The writer, a first lieutenant in the Army National Guard, is executive director ofVets for Freedom. He served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division from September 2005 to July 2006.

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CELEBRITY STUPIDITY (AN ONGOING STORY)

Ken Berwitz

If you were seriously ill, would you seek medical advice from Dr. Marcus Welby?  Or Robert Young, the actor who played him?

If you needed a lawyer, would you look Perry Mason up in the phone book?  Or Raymond Burr, the actor who played him?

 If you needed a princess in a cartoon fantasy, would you try to get hold of Princess Fiona?  Or Cameron Diaz, the actress who played her?  Ok, maybe.

Which brings me to the following story.  It is another in the ongoing saga of people whose celebrity in show business gets them a hearing about serious matters as if they were experts in the field, and spurs them to say things that non-celebrities would be placed under observation for.

Actress Diaz apologises for Mao bag
Jun 24 11:11 PM US/Eastern
US actress Cameron Diaz has apologised for wearing a bag with a political slogan that evoked painful memories in Peru.

The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated Shrek films visited the Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru's Andes wearing an olive green bag emblazoned with a red star and the words "Serve the People", perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong's most famous political slogan, printed in Chinese.

The bags are marketed as fashion accessories in some cities around the world, but in Peru the slogan evokes memories of the Maoist Shining Path insurgency that fought the government in the 1980s and early 1990s in a bloody conflict that left nearly 70,000 people dead.

"I sincerely apologise to anyone I may have inadvertently offended," Diaz said in a statement. "The bag was a purchase I made as a tourist in China and I did not realise the potentially hurtful nature of the slogan printed on it."

One prominent Peruvian human rights activist said Diaz should have been a little more aware of local sensitivities when picking her accessories.

Cameron Diaz, you may recall, is that shining light of intellectual rectitude who went on Oprah Winfrey's show during the 2004 presidential election and attacked President Bush by saying (so help me, this is a real quote):

."We have a voice now, and were not using it, and women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodiesif you think that rape should be legal, then dont vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body, and you have a right to say what happens to you and fight off that danger of losing that, then you should vote"

Get it?  If you voted for President Bush you would be voting for legalized rape.  And the intellectual community didn't come running to her for additional gems of wisdom?  What's wrong with them, anyway?

But that was in 2004 and this is three years later.  Now, she has parlayed that astoundingly stupid comment into carrying a "fashion accessory" handbag in Peru that trivializes the murders of something like 70,000 Peruvians. 

I bet that handbag wows 'em on Rodeo Drive, especially if Ms. Diaz is also wearing a standard issue Che Guevara T-shirt.  But in the real world, not the hollyworld, that handbag represents the mass murder of tens of thousands of people.  Not extras, not stuntmen, actual people.  In the real world it is not some nod to this year's fashion, it is an unspeakably painful reminder of grief, of lost loved ones and destroyed families.  

And Ms. Diaz didn't even know it.  Why SHOULD she know it?  She's an actress, she doesn't have to know anything but her lines. 

This is who offers us political commentary? 

Look, I don't know the moral of this story.  It is a free country and Cameron Diaz certainly has the right to state her opinions, no less than I do.  But, as a general precept, I wish that when people are ignorant, and the things they say and do make them look like vacuous idiots, they would see their way clear to shutting the hell up and just pretending they're cartoon princesses.  That's much more appealing.


ROSIE O'DONNELL: THE PRICE WASN'T FAR ENOUGH LEFT

Ken Berwitz

Well, it's over.  Sorry fans, but Rosie O'Donnell will not be replacing Bob Barker as host of The Price Is Right..

Rosie says she won't replace Bob Barker

Rosie O'Donnell says she's out of the running to replace Bob Barker as host of "The Price Is Right." O'Donnell, a superfan of the CBS game show, said on her blog Friday that she had a "nice lunch" with the show's producers.

Barker, 83, retired earlier this month after 35 years with the show, which is filmed in Los Angeles.

Although O'Donnell has said she would love to fill Barker's shoes, the 45-year-old comedian has changed her mind.

"Well, here's the thing: I don't really need a job," O'Donnell says in a video posted Sunday on her Web site. "I'm in a weird position. I don't need the money."

"So to get my entire family uprooted from their lives and move them across the country so that I can have a fantasy childhood indulgence, you know, job ... it just doesn't seem fair."

O'Donnell lives in Nyack, N.Y., near New York City, with her partner, Kelli, and their four children. She recently left ABC's "The View" after a heated on-air squabble with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

"You know, if they were able to do it in New York, it would be a different story," O'Donnell says. "But it looks like it's ain't gonna happen."

Barker told reporters at the Daytime Emmy Awards he had "no doubt" that O'Donnell would make a fine host for the show.

But Barker told The Associated Press last week he never meant to endorse any potential host and has no role in choosing his replacement..

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me that The Price Is Right is damn lucky that Ms.O'Donnell declined, because they would have been flat-out nuts to hire her.

Isn't this the same Rosie O'Donnell who had a hugely successful, pleasant, fun morning talk show, and then lost half her audience in less than a year by turning it into a gay rights/leftwing politics spectacular? 

Isn't this the same Rosie O'Donnell who blew out of The View in less than a year because she couldn't keep that LAMB mouth of her closed for two minutes at a time, with her nutty political conspiracy theories and nonstop feuding?

Isn't The Price Is Right a lighthearted, fun show that is supposed to be a RELEASE from issues like these and the people who bang you over the head with them?

I can't prove it, of course, but I am 100% certain that if Rosie O'Donnell ever took over the Price Is Right, its long time audience would run away at the speed of light.  How could she possibly provide the release they get from this show, the escape from the real world that it has always provided?   What could they have been thinking when they considered her?

Anyway, it apparently isn't going to happen.  So we'll never know for sure.  But hey, maybe Michael Moore is between films.......


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